Last Friday was National Chocolate Cake day (apparently).
I mention this for no other reason than it reminded me of a great piece of e-commerce content marketing by the much-loved chocolate brand, Cadbury.
Cadbury isn’t a brand usually associated with baking. But, a central feature of the Cadbury website is a rather tasty looking recipe section. It’s a chocolate lover’s paradise, showing how to make dreamy delights such as the decadent chocolate cake below. It even allows you to create a ‘shopping list’ with a link to buy all the ingredients (which, of course, includes many Cadbury products).
This is just one example of a fun and clever way to foster a positive customer relationship, providing shareable ideas, and excellent material for email marketing campaigns.
But is content marketing necessary for e-commerce?
In a word – yes. Research from the Aberdeen group found the average conversion rate of sites with content marketing is five times higher than that of sites with none.
And the rewards extend further. According to research from Demand Metric, customers feel a closer connection with brands that create content. As for SEO, since Google updated its algorithm, content is now an essential part of ranking well on the search engines.
So what makes really good content?
Marketer Neil Patel sums this up nicely:
“Create content people want to share, whether that’s because it’s funny, powerful, interesting, or newsworthy”.
He then goes on to say:
“Personalize the experience whenever and wherever you can.
Tell a story that people can relate to.
Teach your audience something.
Adapt your content to new and different platforms.”
There are so many ways to create content, and of course it depends entirely on your customers and what they want. It’s likely you’re already publishing content of some kind, but does it resonate with your customers? If you don’t know, ask them.
Here are some ways top e-commerce brands are using content on their sites.
There are few types of content as useful and engaging as product tutorials. Maybelline has a ‘make up trends’ section of their site, showing their visitors how to create on-trend makeup looks, with handy product recommendations at the bottom of the page to ‘create the look’.
Ideas for Products
Knowing your target market can give you ideas for how they might like to use your products in different and perhaps even quirky ways. A brand that does this well is furniture giant, Ikea.
They have an ‘ideas’ section of their site, filled with highly visual articles for home inspiration, but also helpful and handy ideas on a range of home-related subjects, such as storage tips.
Ikea states that it doesn’t believe in a ‘perfect home’ but rather a home ‘where everything looks the way you want it to, works the way you need it to, and just generally makes you feel good…’. The folk at Ikea understand the emotional impact one’s surroundings can have, and position their content as a way to inspire and create happier people who enjoy their homes. In doing so, they create and nurture a positive connection with their customers.
Of course, video can be used in a multitude of ways. And for eCommerce, there’s no better place to start than product pages.
Research suggests that conversion rates can rise by as much as 80% when you get high quality video onto your product pages. It shows products in a vivid way from multiple angles, and captures the essence of your products in a way that photos simply can’t replicate. It’s certainly worth trying out.
Telling spellbinding stories
Everyone loves a story. Crafting your brand or your product’s story – and filling your site with content around that story – is a delightful way to engage your visitors in a far more emotional way than a typical e-commerce brand.
As for the results? You’ll see customers who buy more.
Research by Origin looked into how stories affected sales. One of their studies was a test of two product pages of identical products on a wine selling website: one product page with the winemaker’s story vs a page with wine tasting notes. Which page won? The page with the story saw an impressive 5% more sales. And not just that, but shoppers who saw the story were willing to pay 6% more.
Is there a way to incorporate storytelling into your site?
Making your content personal
As we mentioned earlier, content works best when it’s personal. So how can you put a personal touch on the content you create?
Recommend relevant content
Once your visitors show an interest in a particular theme, product or category, you can recommend related content so they can learn more, be entertained more, or whatever it is that your brand’s content does best. The more (good) content your customers consume, the more they’ll connect with your brand.
You can also recommend content based on previous purchases – a perfect guide to go with their new product, for example. Or, you can suggest content to visitors based on what they’re currently looking at (enjoyed this how-to guide? Here’s another you might like!)
Whatever you choose, good quality content will help your eCommerce brand in various ways. Make it shareable, make it engaging, make it personal. Your customers will thank you.